Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Is Joblessness New Norm?

Is joblessness going to be the new normal for most workers? Or will “gig job” (job of a short duration) and temporary jobs be the new order with low pay and no pensions or healthcare. This is what the capitalist rulers are telling the working people, and that they will just have to live with it. The capitalists are now attacking the pensions that workers have already earned. With a Congressional law passed in December of 2014, The Pension Reform Act, which gives permission to slash retirees payments and will effect 68 separate private sector union pension funds. This could impact about 1 million pensions, which not only effects the retirees, but their families, as well, amounting to 2 million to 3 million people or more. A person receiving a government pension of $3,500, could see a cut of $1,900 per month. Then the Government Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, which is supposed to pick up the shortfall, is projected to run out of money in eight to ten years. There will be no money left except for maybe Social Security, but the Republicans are still biting at the bit to cut or eliminate this program. With no jobs, there is no workers paying into Social Security, so it too can run out of money. What happened to the money the workers paid into their retirement? A large portion of these funds were gambled away by money managers or so-called pension specialists assigned to administer the funds who ended up making bad investments. And then there was the financial crash of 2008, and most investments were lost and some never recovered. New workers needn’t worry about losing their pensions because there will not be pensions for most new hires. Wages are so low or stagnate, that there’s very little to save. Nearly half of 30-40 year olds now earn less than their parents did. Union memberships are down to 6.4 percent, their lowest ever, and there doesn’t appear to be much hope to changing the membership numbers. Is it time to look at new solutions, such as the Universal Basic Income and payment for the use of our Commons? If some changes are not made by our government, then they will be made by the sharp end of pitchforks held by the masses.